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Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2016

The next eclipse is an annular solar eclipse on September 1, 2016.

Various stages of an annular solar eclipse from Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

Various stages of an annular solar eclipse from Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

Looking for info on the North American total solar eclipse of 2017? Click here.

The next eclipse is September 1, 2016, an annular solar eclipse visible from the southern tropical regions of Africa and Madagascar. The new moon will pass directly in front of the solar disk on September 1, but the moon will lie too far away from Earth in its orbit to completely cover over the sun’s disk. So the moon won’t cover the sun completely, and the sky won’t turn dark. Instead, a thin ring – or annulus – of sunlight will surround the new moon silhouette. This will be the second and final solar eclipse of 2016. Read more about the African solar eclipse on September 1. Follow the links below to learn more about upcoming solar eclipses:

Eclipses in 2016

Get ready for a total solar eclipse in continental U.S. in 2017

Fortnight (approximate two-week) separation between solar and lunar eclipses

Eclipses in 2016
March 9: Total solar eclipse
March 23: Penumbral lunar eclipse
September 1: Annular solar eclipse
September 16: Penumbral lunar eclipse

The video below – from the beautiful website shadowandsubstance.com by Larry Koehn shows the path of the September 1, 2016 annular solar eclipse.

Annular Eclipse of the Sun Over Africa On September 1, 2016 from LarryKoehn on Vimeo.

Get ready for a total solar eclipse visible from continental U.S. in 2017. It’ll happen on Monday, August 21, 2017 – with the path of totality cross from coast to coast – the first total solar eclipse visible on U.S. soil in a generation. The total eclipse will begin as the moon’s dark umbral shadow touches down in the northern Pacific and crosses the USA from west to east through parts of the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. The moon’s penumbral shadow will produce a partial eclipse visible from a much larger region covering most of North America. You can find more about the eclipse from EarthSky partner Fred Espenak, here.

Total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017.  Chart via Fred Espenak / NASA.

Total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Chart via Fred Espenak / NASA.

Fortnight (approximate two-week) separation between solar and lunar eclipses. A solar eclipse always takes place within one fortnight of any lunar eclipse. For instance, in 2016, the total solar eclipse on March 9 comes one fortnight before the penumbral lunar eclipse of March 23. The annular solar eclipse on September 1 occurs one fortnight before the penumbral lunar eclipse of September 16.

Somewhat rarely, a solar eclipse can occur one fortnight before and after a lunar eclipse. This will next happen in the year 2018:
July 13: Partial solar eclipse
July 27: Total lunar eclipse
August 11: Partial solar eclipse

Somewhat rarely, a lunar eclipse can come one fortnight before and after a solar eclipse. This will next happen in the year 2020:
June 5: Penumbral lunar eclipse
June 21: Annular solar eclipse
July 5: Penumbral lunar eclipse

Read more about three eclipses in one month

This is what a total eclipse looks like.  This is the total eclipse of October 27, 2004 via Fred Espenak of NASA, otherwise known as Mr. Eclipse.  Visit Fred's page here.

This is what a total lunar eclipse looks like. It’s the total lunar eclipse of October 27, 2004 via Fred Espenak of NASA. Visit Fred’s page here. We astronomy writers often describe a totally eclipsed moon as appearing ‘blood red.’ Here’s why the moon turns red during a total eclipse.

Composite image of a 1999 solar eclipse by Fred Espenak.

Composite image of a 1999 total solar eclipse by Fred Espenak. Read his article on the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse, first one visible from contiguous North America since 1979.

Bottom line: Dates of solar and lunar eclipses in 2016, and a preview of the great American eclipse of 2017.

Order your safe solar eclipse glasses from EarthSky

Bruce McClure

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